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is it true Go Plastic by Squarepusher featured no computer wizardry?


PhylumZunami
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Yeah it was pretty easy to transition to Acid from there, which has been my main DAW for electronic music up until last month. I'm giving Ableton a shot now, since my fungus comp submission. I'm liking that I can drag audio from one track to another very easily once again, somethinng Acid fights against. But man do I ever miss the quick pitch shift shift short key (+ = up 1 semitone, - = down 1 --composing melodies went so much faster in Acid).

 

Sorry for the minor thread derailment...

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go plastic is one of few electronic albums i could listen to stoned. not lots i wanted to hear when high, but go plastic, good, anytime.

its that funky bass bro

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  • 1 month later...

2001 Squarepusher interview by Keith Fullerton Whitman, at around 10:30-13:45 they discuss generative vs. sequenced beats and the computer/DSP hardware/Eventide question regarding Go Plastic.

 

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  • 7 months later...

Figured I'd drop this here, rather than the Domgen Furies software thread...

 

Found this interview where Tom is asked how the audio edit was done on Go Plastic. The interview is in Japanese, so here's a web-translation:

 

 

Q: The audio editing How do I perform?

 

A: 2, 3 years ago with tape to learn how to edit it again, and then, with the tape or as a team succeeded. Tape, and cut and paste the real work is like. The GO PLASTIC" by the computer edit wasn't done at all. To edit the computer used to don't like to go through the most. But no taste. I'm not approaching empty steps. Edit on the computer, when we don't do things I do as much as possible, try to avoid. Oh well, either way, I write songs in the way there is no need for Edit so that it can.

 

It sounds like he's saying it was edited on tape... can you imagine?

 

If anyone can read Japanese and give us a better translation, the interview is here. Some other good tidbits in there as well.

http://rittor-music.jp/sound/feature/2009/10/147

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I'm reading that as that Go Plastic has basically no edits. it's all in the sequencing and MIDI automation. I don't really doubt that as that's how I make trax myself (obvs nothing as complex or amazing as Go Plastic, but still...).

 

there's a lot of tape edits on stuff like Budakhan, Music is rotted..., Maximum Priest, S16 etc to my ears. also some stuff on HE.

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verdict: of course it is absolutely 100% not true. I love how the legend is still going though


I'm reading that as that Go Plastic has basically no edits. it's all in the sequencing and MIDI automation

next time you sit down on an eventide box try doing a midi programmed program change/preset switch and let me know how it works out without having to do edits.


 

It sounds like he's saying it was edited on tape... can you imagine?

 

no because it's not true

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eh, the footage of "him" using reaktor and cooledit and stuff is obviously stock footage sliced in in this interview

.

 

he's stated a few times that go plastic was made using the qy700, fs1r, tx81z, s6000 and eventide orville+dsp4000. the eventides are pretty damn powerful, especially when you start to control various parameters over midi. it doesn't sound that impossible to me that he did it without a computer.

wait so you think this isn't him using this and MTV dropped in their own stock footage of Reaktor and Cooledit 2.0?

it doesn't sound 'impossible' but its extremely improbable100% probability he used at the very least a DAW wave editor to stitch together the effects passes from said Eventide

 

didn't realize pizza resurrected the idea that MTV decided to drop in stock footage totally unrelated to TOm of Cooledit 2.0 and Reaktor in this video. but he just mentioned it a few days ago so the (extremely bizarre) idea is still alive and well. Most likely possibility is that MTV asked tom after the interview to do things on the computer to give them material for broll (they do the same shit with almost any electronic musician from videos of this era, go check out say a Richard Devine video from a similar time). However in your defense it's possible Tom pulled up Cooledit just for the fuck of it and he never used it (but strangely had it installed on his computer)

 

the most likely possibility is that yes he probably did do automation using Eventide effects BUT also edited the passes of them to bridge the sections together (on a computer, not tape lol) No eventide box that i know of can do seamless midi programmed program changes, its just not possible (if someone can disprove this please do, ive only used 2 eventide machines)

additionally it's likely he also decided at certain points to do effects passes inside a computer DAW probably cooledit and reaktor to vary the palette of effects.

 

the part at 13:00 into that interview with KFM is interesting because he sorta pushes back on Tom's premise that it was all done with DSP hardware. He mentions the 'giveaway' computer sound a bit crusher and i don't know if im totally imagining it but it seems like for a brief moment tom gets a little thrown off. In a way it would make sense for Tom to present this as a 'hardware' album (a small fib perhaps) because it came out around the same time DAW music making without pro tools became extremely trendy and everyone wanted to do it. Im sure that left a bad taste in the mouths of people who were essentially undisputed kings for so long, all of the sudden you have 1,000 x as many wannabe bedroom producers, some of which were actually surprisingly talented out of the gates. So no i still do not believe for a second Go Plastic was done entirely 'pre computer' not for a second

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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I mean, if he was sane he'd use a computer to edit it, but if he's so adamant in several interviews that he didn't, I don't know why he would lie about something as pointless as that?

it could all be done in MAGIX music maker and it'd still be a fucking amazing record.

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I mean, if he was sane he'd use a computer to edit it, but if he's so adamant in several interviews that he didn't, I don't know why he would lie about something as pointless as that?

i wouldn't really call it a lie, and i don't think it would be pointless at all for the reasons i just stated above (probably before i edited my post). It sounds a lot fucking cooler (and also more advanced and musically untouchable <--- keyword) to say you did something that sounds 100% like a computer record with hardware, its as simple as that really.

 

Is a magician who tells you how they did the trick differently than they actually did a "liar" ? I don't think so, they're just smart. It not only serves the purpose of keeping your audience mystified it also prevents other magicians from following your scent and figuring out your tricks, it creates a smokescreen. Artists, musicians do it all the time and for good reason.

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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well, certainly a possibility. I'm just basing this on several interviews I've read over the years, as that's the only source I have. I don't know the guy. for me, it doesn't matter. he's stated several times that DYKS and Ultravisitor was heavily edited with a computer, and those are both great records.

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part of the reason im getting involved in this 'argument' again is because im doing a Go Plastic tribute set this Saturday and am trying to do most of it (the effects especially) actually live. In trying to reverse engineer toms process I quickly hit a wall just for the very basic limitation of an H3000 or eventide eclipse not being able to keep up with real-time midi program changes. So one workaround for actually using an eclipse (which is what im using) the way tom says he used the Orville is to only do the program changes when it's not actually in use or long enough during a part (like a second) where you switch over. Its not reliable though, they crash if you do the program changes too fast. Another workaround is to stick with only one preset on the Eclipse, like a Reverb preset/patch and make a CC assignment front end on something like Reaktor or Max4live. In this patch you would make quasi children 'presets' changing only the CC front end knobs, but essentially you'd be using the same main Eclipse preset, just changing drastically the parameters of that patch with each midi note. Trying to do it all with purely automation lanes would become instantly a headache, it seems easier for knowing what to expect to just make a shit load of these quasi children presets on a midi cc front end with which main eclipse preset you are using tied to it (and just have a sequencer 'stepping' through the different ones you created). Basically for those familiar with Glitch VST (i know it makes me sick to even mention it) you are doing a similar thing to that plugin but just by changing the parameters on an Eclipse preset for every switch over

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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didn't realize pizza resurrected the idea that MTV decided to drop in stock footage totally unrelated to TOm of Cooledit 2.0 and Reaktor in this video. but he just mentioned it a few days ago so the (extremely bizarre) idea is still alive and well. Most likely possibility is that MTV asked tom after the interview to do things on the computer to give them material for broll (they do the same shit with almost any electronic musician from videos of this era, go check out say a Richard Devine video from a similar time). However in your defense it's possible Tom pulled up Cooledit just for the fuck of it and he never used it (but strangely had it installed on his computer)

 

 

how do you explain the footage at 1:49 which is obviously not his studio? looks like this interview was filmed at his hotel or something, wouldn't be surprised if the only footage of him was from the gig and sitting outside the hotel, the rest is just stock. if he says he did it without DAW edits then I believe him. do you believe he made selection 16 without a master sequencer btw? aside from individual sequences from a 303 or 101 or whatever, everything was pieced together using tape (it's pretty obvious in the end result actually, there's a very loose timing to the whole thing).

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part of the reason im getting involved in this 'argument' again is because im doing a Go Plastic tribute set this Saturday

Douchey cunt.

Good luck with the tribute set though, you weird, weird fucker.

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ill take weird fucker over douchey cunt. I love how these electronic musician myths get people all riled up. (not u for the insult, im talking about the people who have walked around for 10 years thinking GO Plastic was edited by Tom with a fucking razorblade)


 

didn't realize pizza resurrected the idea that MTV decided to drop in stock footage totally unrelated to TOm of Cooledit 2.0 and Reaktor in this video. but he just mentioned it a few days ago so the (extremely bizarre) idea is still alive and well. Most likely possibility is that MTV asked tom after the interview to do things on the computer to give them material for broll (they do the same shit with almost any electronic musician from videos of this era, go check out say a Richard Devine video from a similar time). However in your defense it's possible Tom pulled up Cooledit just for the fuck of it and he never used it (but strangely had it installed on his computer)

 

 

how do you explain the footage at 1:49 which is obviously not his studio? looks like this interview was filmed at his hotel or something, wouldn't be surprised if the only footage of him was from the gig and sitting outside the hotel, the rest is just stock. if he says he did it without DAW edits then I believe him. do you believe he made selection 16 without a master sequencer btw? aside from individual sequences from a 303 or 101 or whatever, everything was pieced together using tape (it's pretty obvious in the end result actually, there's a very loose timing to the whole thing).

 

so let me get this straight MTV has in their libraries 'stock' footage of someone using Cooledit and Reaktor? Im just trying to clarify what you mean by 'stock footage' as opposed to the very standard procedure of any TV production to film what is called 'b-roll' which is coverage footage designed to fill in between the edits and overlay on top of the main timeline. Its possible but highly unlikely that the MTV asshole opened up his own laptop and filmed himself fucking around with warez he just downloaded because he thought it looked cool to put over Tom's interview.

lets assume for a second Tom was never filmed using cooledit ever, just for sake of argument. Is there a legitimate reason you think (besides him saying Go Plastic was pre computer) that he wouldn't use Cooledit?

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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so let me get this straight MTV has in their libraries 'stock' footage of someone using Cooledit and Reaktor? Im just trying to clarify what you mean by 'stock footage' as opposed to the very standard procedure of any TV production to film what is called 'b-roll' which is coverage footage designed to fill in between the edits and overlay on top of the main timeline.

 

you didn't answer either of my questions, who's studio is at 1:49, and do you believe what he said about selection 16?

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I have no idea what studio that is, but i'm confused how is that relevant to the 2 brief shots of cooledit? Are you saying because they show a shot of studio that isn't tom that means its stock footage?

All this footage provided for me was potential confirmation of what I've always believed to be true, that Tom probably dabbled a bit in Cooledit pro all the way back during the Go Plastic era.

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to your other question, if he said Selection Sixteen was recorded and then 'edited' on tape, sure I believe it because that album sounds very raw to me, sounds like mostly hardware jams. There isn't much if any serious editing that I can hear on the entire album. But even still, it doesn't make much sense to do unless just for the please of the act of cutting tape. It would make more sense to record it all on tape, record it into a DAW and edit it there.

Edited by John Ehrlichman
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to your other question, if he said Selection Sixteen was recorded and then 'edited' on tape, sure I believe it because that album sounds very raw to me, sounds like mostly hardware jams. There isn't much if any serious editing that I can hear on the entire album. But even still, it doesn't make much sense to do unless just for the please of the act of cutting tape. It would make more sense to record it all on tape, record it into a DAW and edit it there.

 

it was more than that though I think, it wasn't sequenced at all (i.e. no master clock) (outside of any step sequencers on the synths themselves). just lots of individual bits recorded to tape and cut together, radiophonic workshop style.

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I have no idea what studio that is, but i'm confused how is that relevant to the 2 brief shots of cooledit? Are you saying because they show a shot of studio that isn't tom that means its stock footage?

 

All this footage provided for me was potential confirmation of what I've always believed to be true, that Tom probably dabbled a bit in Cooledit pro all the way back during the Go Plastic era.

 

well if they show some stock footage of some random studio, why wouldn't they show some random footage of some pc software? there's nothing in the video to suggest that it's his pc.

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interesting quote about selection sixteen:

 

 

 

Once again, there is a difficulty of definitions. Although you may interpret a given track as being "live" or "accoustic", there may well be a high degree of programmed material in a "live" track. Also, there may be a high degree of "live" material in what sounds heavily oriented towards programming. For example, "square rave", "tomorrow world" and "mind rubbers" from "selection sixteen", although they might sound like it, have no programmed( i.e. sequenced) material in them at all. You might verify this by attempting to perform a BPM count on them - they do not at any point have a precise tempo. I played all the parts live from a bass guitar using a bass>midi converter (including drums). "Iambic 9 poetry" is all programmed apart from the drums, which I played in two parts, and then spliced together to form a continuous backbone. It is too difficult to describe my music in the actual details of how it was constructed. This is why I am happy for any differing interpretations of my work to be made, because to provide an definitive account of how it was all done would probably take me the remainder of my life to do - something I currently have no intention of doing. In any case, what use would it be? Presumably so that could people could learn techniques from my work. If there is anything to learn from me it is that your imagination is good a guide to composition as any "account of an approach to composition".
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